History

Fifth Third Ballpark is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps who began play in the Grand Rapids area in 1994, it was the culmination of a 10-year labor of love for local businessmen Lew Chamberlin and Dennis Baxter. The two took on the challenge of bringing a minor league team to the area in 1984 (see chronology below), and in February of 1993, finally reached the proverbial pot of gold when they announced the purchase of the Midwest League's Madison Muskies franchise with the intent to move the team the following year to Comstock Park, Michigan.

In addition to the purchase of the team, Chamberlin and Baxter, along with 26 limited partners, were able to secure private financing for the construction of Fifth Third Ballpark. The financing is significant in that Fifth Third Ballpark is one of the only professional baseball stadiums in the country to be constructed strictly with private funds - and without taxpayer dollars.

Read a full history of Fifth Third Ballpark.


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